Starting Your Graphic Design Business: Part I

Learning the Biz

Graphic Design schools can sharpen your artistic talents, but what about your business acumen?  If starting a design business appeals to you, however, both sides of your brain need to be functioning.  In order to get You, Inc. off the ground, knowing the nuts and bolts of business ownership is just as essential as being a whiz in Illustrator.

What You Need to Know

Remember when you had a lemonade stand?  You had to stock enough cups, reach the delicate balance between sweet and tangy, and be home before dark.  You were not concerned with obtaining signatures on contracts or whether the sidewalk was a viable office location.  Unfortunately, running your own business is a little different. To avoid unnecessary trouble, take a look at the resources offered through AIGA, the professional association for design.  Here, you can not only find tips, but a Center for Practice Management.

The Firm Hand of the Law

They may focus on aesthetics in graphic design colleges, but in business, they want your t’s crossed and i’s dotted.  To understand the legal process of running your business, seek advice. Find other graphic designers who have done something similar by joining an online community.  Then, turn to an expert such as:

  • Attorneys
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Bankers
  • Business Insurance Agents
  • Industry Consultants

A few topics this army of advisors will discuss are your company’s legal structure, tax details, and becoming an employer.  Who knew this was significant to your graphic design education? Your new office may look like four walls sandwiched between a floor and ceiling, but there are numerous logistics bolting that structure together.

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